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Help and advice for Monmouthshire

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"The County of MONMOUTH is 80 Miles in Circumference, contains about 340000 Acres, 6 Hundreds, 7 Market Towns & only one Borough [viz. Monmouth the shire town], 137 Parishes & about 6400 Houses. The Air is healthfull & temperate, the soil is hilly and woody, the Valleys fruitfull, yeilding abundance of Corn and Grass, as the Hills doe Cattle, Sheep & Goats, &c. Cheif Commodities are Corn, Cattle, Sheep, and its Rivers particularly the Uske and the Wye, are full of Salmon and Trout." [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]


  • Hale Family History site - a Monmouthshire book list.
  • Monmouthshire - Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians.
  • See also the books on South Wales in the General section of the Glamorgan Book pages of GENUKI.
  • Wiles, Eric. Publications of the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, later Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association, now Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association. Monmouthshire Antiquary 13 (1997), p.59-66.




Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

Correctional Institutions

  • The Prison Service Museum near Rugby houses HM Prison Service's historical collection of exhibits, illustrating the history of imprisonment from medieval times to the present day. Housed in a converted stable block, the museum contains reconstructions of Victorian prison architecture, and exhibits include the last set of Gibbet Irons used in England. Smaller items include bone carvings and paintings made by prisoners in their cells, and a nineteenth century sampler embroidered by a female prisoner from her own hair

    Admission to the museum is by appointment only, please contact:-

    The Curator,
    HM Prison Service Museum,
    Newbold Revel,
    CV23 0TH

    Tel: 01788 834168

Description and Travel


  • Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire1901 - a complete transcript.
  • There are many directories published for a range of years, these below are a small selection;
    • Kelly's directory of Monmouthshire and principal towns and places in south Wales. London : Kelly, 1884.
    • Pigot & Co. Directory of Monmouthshire. 1844
    • Slater's (late Pigot & Co.) royal national and commercial directory and topography of the counties of Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire and North and South Wales, and a classified directory of the town of Liverpool. Manchester, London, 1858.
  • Leicester University's Digital Library of Historical Directories for England and Wales.

Emigration and Immigration

  • For help finding your ancestors onboard ship - The Ships List - of particular interest are the large number of transcribed passenger lists, and records of some Marriages at Sea.


  • The section of The National Gazetteer (1868) relating to the county of Monmouthshire - transcribed by Colin Hinson.
  • The transcription of the section for Miscellaneous Places from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson. Included here are the descriptions of major topological features (rivers, hills &c.) and a descriptions of the county hundred divisions.
  • Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848   on the British  History Online site - including Monmouthshire (search by parish name)


Historical Geography

  • Geography of South Wales - part of the Coalfield Web Materials site.
  • A Vision of Britain Through Time - information about your home area from the 2001 census, and from each British census back to 1801. Presented both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time.
  • The Francis Frith Collection - a collection of over 700,000 photographs of the UK, Europe and the Middle East taken by the Victorian photographer Francis Frith.


  • Website for Welsh Heritage and Culture - People's Collection Wales .
  • A digital library of medieval and modern sources of the history of the British Isles - British History Online. Notable souces include Journals of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, and the Victoria County History.
  • An Encyclopaedia of British History: 1700-1950 - useful for seeing local events against a national perspective. Scroll down the introductory page on this site to see topics - Monarchy, Child Labour, The Railways, &c.
  • The Domesday Book site - "to enable visitors to find out the history of the Domesday Book and to give an insight into life at the time of its compilation". Note this site does not provide the original text, but does include a list settlements existing in 1086. Listed with Gloucestershire are Caerleon, Caerwent, Caldicot, Chepstow, Llanvair-Discoed and Portskewett.
  • Hale Family History site - a short history.
  • Hale Family History site - links to ancient Gwent history sites.
  • Nelson, Lynn H - The Normans in South Wales, 1070-1171. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1966.
  • A Gazetteer of Monmouthshire Wellsites

Land and Property

  • Pat Johnson has a large collection of original Family Deeds. Abstracts, with name and parish indexes are provided onsite, with transcriptions of the full documents available for a modest fee. In addtion, the original deed may also be available for purchase if required.
  • Mike Durtnall is providing a country-wide collection of Historical Manuscripts Pages recording details of deeds that have been offered for sale on eBay and in auction catalogues. In most cases whereabouts of the documents will be unknown, but sufficient details of the property involved and of buyers, sellers, mortages, &c. is provided to make them a useful research tool.

Language and Languages


  • Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.  Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county
  • Access to various satellite map sites (Google, MS Live, &c.) via the convenient front end of Flash Earth.
  • The London Ancestor site has maps from the 1885 Boundary Commissioners report for all parts of the British Isles, including Monmouthshire (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1885)
  • The Old Maps web site has a wonderful series of 1:10,560 scale historical maps for the whole of the UK available on-line.
  • The Genmaps site contains a fine collection of Old Maps of the British Isles for Genealogists and Historians. In particular, see Old Maps of Monmouthshire.
  • The above Genmaps Links pages lists Great Britain - Medieval Maps, which in turn provides several maps including an intriguing Ecclesiastical Map of the British Isles in the Middle Ages, which shows the principal Monasteries, demonstrating some of the earliest centres of habitation and influence.
  • Detailed Maps of the area you may be interested in Monmouthshire are viewable at the UK Street Map Page. The site provides a most useful service, with superb address searching and street map facilities for anywhere in mainland Great Britain.
  • Hale Family History site - 1907 map of Monmouthshire.
  • Welsh county maps by Samuel Lewis and published in 1833.
  • Clear, Large Type and Braille Maps.
    David Hawgood has produced Maps of Monmouthshire with Braille labels (large print labels) to help people with visual disabilities, with similar Tactile and large print Maps for other English counties. [NB David's source, Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835 includes Monmouthshire]

Medical Records

  • Medical Heritage of Great Britain, a site produced by the Bath & Wessex Medical History Group, providing detailed information on a county level of the history of medical treatments, and locations of some associated buildings.

Merchant Marine

  • Welsh Mariners by Dr Reg Davies - includes a searchable database of over 17,000 Welsh born (or Wales resident) Master mariners, mates and engineers who held certificates of competency or service; in practice it is an index of men active from 1850 to 1945 in the merchant navy.
  • Lighthouse Personnel in England and Wales and the Channel Islands 1841-1910. Includes:- Table of Keepers; Table of Stations by county; Location map of the lighthouse sites.
  • Maritime History. Although not particularly Glamorgan related here are a large number of links to websites dealing with maritime history. By Bob Sanders.

Military History

Names, Personal


  • The Cambrian Index online. The Cambrian was the first English-language newspaper published in Wales and editions cover 1804-1930. Swansea Library provide a searchable index to articles. Added 24 Oct 2005.
  • South Wales Argus.

    Links to Newspapers' sites are provided not only for the Newspaper content, but also because they may contain links to other items or sites of local interest.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Postal and Shipping Guides

  • The Regency Collection has a section on Postal History, and also includes other interesting material relating to the Regency period - e.g. Turnpike Trusts, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and more.

Probate Records

  • Monmouthshire wills : proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1560-1601. Cardiff : South Wales Record Society, 1997. 256p.

Religion and Religious Life

Social life and Customs


Gwent FHS

South Wales Record Society - "The society was set up in 1982 with the aim of publishing a regular series of books and other works on the history of South Wales and particularly Glamorgan and Gwent."

Gwent Local History Council. Publishes a twice-yearly English-language local history journal containing articles on historical topics, with references, book reviews, notes and news. Its issues are numbered to run on from its predecessor, Presenting Monmouthshire, starting at no. 41. On Welsh Journals Online


  • The E 179 Database (on the National Archives website) contains detailed information about over 26,000 documents relating to the taxation of lay people in England and Wales between c.1200 and c.1700. These documents are likely to contain many names.